Category Archives: Personal

Personal posts and commentaries from the author.

Prayer/Meditation (and subsequent chapters)

The following excerpts are from a book entitled The Spiritual Combat. By Lorenzo Scupoli. A book that subsequently, St. Francis de Sales carried with him for 18 years!


PRAYER
WE HAVE SHOWN that distrustfulness of self, confidence in God, and proper application of the faculties of the soul are the indispensable weapons of conquest in the spiritual combat. Yet a far more important weapon is prayer, since by it are obtained, not only the above-specified virtues, but everything requisite for our salvation. Prayer is the channel of all Divine grace; by it God is compelled, as it were, to grant us the strength of Heaven, and destroy by our weak hands the fiercest of our foes. But in order to receive full benefit from our prayer, the following method should be observed:
1. We must desire sincerely to serve God with ardent fervor in the manner most agreeable to Him; and this desire will be enkindled within our breasts if we consider three things attentively. The first is that Almighty God deserves our homage and service by reason of the excellence of His sovereign being, His goodness, beauty, wisdom, power, and His ineffable, infinite perfection. The second is that God in Heaven became man on earth to consecrate a life of thirty-three years to the cause of our salvation. He condescended to dress our wounds with His own hands, and heal them, not with oil and wine, but with His own precious blood and immaculate body, torn and disfigured by cruel whips, thorns, and nails. The third point is our realization of the obligation to observe His law, and discharge every duty, since this is the only way we can expect to triumph over the devil, to become masters of ourselves, and children of God.

2. We must have a vibrant, living faith and a firm confidence that God will not refuse the assistance necessary to serve Him faithfully and work out our salvation. A soul rekindled with this holy confidence is like a sacred vessel, into which Divine Mercy pours the treasures of His grace; and the larger the vessel, the greater the abundance of Heavenly blessings it receives through prayer. For how can God, Whose power is limitless, and Whose goodness is alien to all deception, ever refuse His gifts to those whose petitions He has encouraged, and whose perseverance and faith He has promised to reward with the blessings of the Holy Spirit?

3. But our motive for prayer must be the will of God rather than the will of self. We must apply ourselves to this divinely appointed duty because He has commanded it, and we must wish no more than that which is in utter conformity to God’s plan. Thus, our intention will not be to make the Divine will subservient to our own, but rather, to transform the human will so that it is in complete harmony with the Divine. The reason for this humble accedence to the Divine will is the perversity of our own, tainted as it is with a blind self-love. Guided by ourselves alone, we would err and stumble, but the will of God, essentially just and holy, cannot be mistaken. Thus the will of God should be the will of men, since not to follow the former is to go astray. Let us, then, be most solicitous that all our petitions be agreeable to God, and if doubts arise concerning the concurrence of the human with the Divine, let a humble submission to Divine Providence accompany our requests. If, however, the things we ask are, by their very nature, pleasing to Him, such as grace, virtue, etc., then let us beg them with a view to pleasing and serving His Divine Majesty, rather than for any other consideration, however creditable.

4. If we wish our prayers to be efficacious, our actions must suit the petitions, and we must exert much energy in making ourselves worthy of the favors we ask. For prayer and interior mortification are inseparable, and he that seeks a particular virtue, without making a serious effort to practice it, only tempts God.

5. Before we ask anything of God, we ought to thank Him most humbly for the innumerable benefits He has graciously bestowed upon us. Let us say to Him: “O Lord, Who after creating me, didst mercifully pay the price of my redemption, delivering me from the fury of myriad enemies, come now to my assistance; and forgetting my past ingratitude, bestow upon me this favor I now ask.” If, however, at the very time we seek to attain a particular virtue, we find ourselves tempted to the contrary vice, let us thank God for granting us the opportunity of practicing the virtue in question, and look upon the occasion as a favor.

6. As the entire force and efficacy of prayer is attributed solely to the goodness of God, at the conclusion of our petitions we should constantly remember the merits of our Savior’s life and passion, and His promise to graciously hear our requests, with one or the other of these sentences:

A) “I beseech Thee, O Lord, through Thy infinite mercy, to grant my petition.”

B) “Through the merits of Thy Son, bestow this favor on me.”

C) “Be mindful, O God, of Thy promises, and hear my prayers.” Again, we may have recourse to the intercession of the blessed Mother and the other Saints; for they prevail much with God, Who is pleased to honor them, in proportion to the honor they accorded Him on earth.

7. We must persist in prayer, since God certainly cannot overlook our humble perseverance. For if the pleadings of the widow in the Gospel prevailed with the wicked judge, how can our pleadings be ignored by God, Who is infinitely good? Thus, although our favors may not be immediately granted, and may even appear to be ignored by God, we must not lose our confidence in His infinite goodness, nor desist from prayer. For God possesses both immense power and will to grant us those things conducive to our ultimate welfare. Therefore, if we are not wanting in ourselves, we shall inevitably obtain what we ask for, something better, or perhaps both. As for the rest, the more we churlishly think ourselves slighted by God, the more we should hold ourselves in contempt. But in considering our misery, we should contemplate the Divine mercy, and far from lessening our confidence in Him, we must increase it; for the steadier we remain in situations attended by fear and diffidence, the greater will be our merit. Finally, let us never cease to thank God, blessing equally His wisdom, His goodness, His charity, whether He grants or refuses our petition. Whatever happens, let us be undisturbed, contented and resigned to divine Providence in all things. 

MENTAL PRAYER

MENTAL PRAYER is the elevation of our minds to God, asking of Him either expressly or tacitly those things of which we stand in need. We ask for them expressly when we say in our hearts: “O my God, grant me this request for the honor of Thy holy name”; or “Lord, I am firmly convinced that this petition is Thy will, and for Thy greater honor, I ask this petition. Accomplish, therefore, Thy Divine will in me.” When harassed by the attacks of the enemy, let us say: “Come swiftly, O Lord, to my assistance lest I fall a prey to my enemy”; or “O God, my refuge and my strength, help me speedily, lest I perish.” When temptation continues, we must continue the same prayer, courageously resisting the foe; and when the fury of the combat has passed, let us address ourselves to the Almighty, imploring Him to consider our weakness in the face of the enemy’s strength: “Behold, my God, Thy creature, the work of Thy hands, a man redeemed by Thy precious blood. And behold Satan trying to carry him from Thee to utterly destroy him. It is to Thee I fly for aid, and it is in Thee that I place my entire confidence, for I know that Thou alone art infinitely good and powerful. Have pity on a miserable creature who stumbles blindly, though willfully, into the path of his enemies, as do all who forsake the assistance of Thy grace. Help me therefore, my only hope, O sole strength of my soul!” We tacitly ask favors of God when we present to Him our necessities, without making any particular request. Placing ourselves in His Divine presence, we acknowledge our incapacity to avoid evil or do good without His aid. We are nevertheless inflamed with a desire of serving Him. Thus we must fix our eyes upon Him, waiting for His assistance with unbounded confidence and utter humility. 

The confession of our weakness and the desire to serve Him, this act of faith so performed, is a silent prayer which will infallibly obtain our request from Heaven. The more sincere the confession, the more ardent the desire, and the more lively the faith, the greater will be the efficacy of the prayer before the throne of God. There is another method of prayer similar to this, but more concise, consisting as it does in but a single act of the soul. The soul presents her requests to the Almighty, adverting to a favor already asked and still sought, although not formally expressed. Let us endeavor to cultivate this kind of prayer, and employ it on all occasions; for experience will convince us that nothing is more easy, yet nothing more excellent and efficacious.

MEDITATION

WHEN A CONSIDERABLE length of time is to be spent in prayer, it is advisable to make a meditation on some feature of our Savior’s life or passion; the reflections naturally arising from such meditation should then be applied to the particular virtue we are striving to attain. If, for instance, you need patience, contemplate the mystery of your Savior scourged at the pillar.

Consider first the blows and revilements hurled at Him by the soldiers as they brutally drag their innocent victim to the appointed place as ordered.

Secondly, consider Him stripped of His garments, exposed to the piercing cold. 

Thirdly, picture those innocent hands, bound tightly to the pillar.

Fourthly, consider His body, torn with whips until His blood moistened the earth. And finally, envision the frequency of the blows, creating new wounds, reopening others on that sacred body. Dwelling on these or similar details, calculated to inspire in you a love of patience, you should try to feel within your very soul the inexpressible anguish so patiently borne by your Divine Master.

Then consider the excruciating agony of His spirit, and the patience and mildness with which that agony was endured by Him Who was ready to suffer even more for God’s glory and your welfare. Behold, then, your Master, covered with blood, desiring nothing more earnestly than your patient acceptance of affliction; and be assured that He implores for you the assistance of the Heavenly Father that you may bear with resignation, not only the cross of the moment, but the crosses to come. Strengthen, therefore, by frequent acts your resolution to suffer, with joy; and, raising your mind to Heaven, give thanks to the Father of mercies, Who didst send His only Son into this world to suffer indescribable torments, and to intercede for you in your necessities. Conclude your meditation by beseeching Him to grant you the virtue of patience, through the merits and intercession of this beloved Son in Whom He is well pleased.

ANOTHER METHOD OF MEDITATION

THERE IS ANOTHER method of prayer and meditation besides the one to which we have adverted. In this latter method, having considered the poignant sufferings of your Savior and His patient endurance of them, you proceed to two other considerations of equal importance. The one is the consideration of Christ’s infinite merits, and the other, of that satisfaction and glory which the eternal Father received from His obedience—an obedience unto death, even the death of the Cross. You must represent these two considerations to the Divine Majesty, as two powerful means of obtaining the grace you seek. This method is applicable, not only to all the mysteries of Our Lord’s passion, but to every exterior or interior act He performed in the course of His passion.
A METHOD OF PRAYER BASED ON THE INTERCESSION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

BESIDES THE METHODS of meditation already mentioned, there is another which is addressed particularly to the Blessed Virgin. We first consider the eternal Father, then Jesus Christ Our Lord, and finally, the Blessed Mother. With regard to the eternal Father, there are two considerations. The first is the singular affection He cherished from all eternity for this most chaste Virgin whom He chose to be the mother of His Divine Son. The second is the eminent sanctity He was pleased to bestow upon her and the many virtues she practiced in her lifetime. 

Meditating on the affection of the eternal Father for our Lady, you must begin by raising your mind above all created beings; look forward to the vast expanses of eternity, enter into the heart of God, and see with what delight He viewed the person destined one day to become the mother of His Son; beseech Him by that delight to give you sufficient strength against your enemies, especially those who most grievously afflict you. Contemplate, then, the virtues and heroic actions of this incomparable Virgin; make an offering of each or all of them to God, as they are of such efficacy as to obtain for you divine assistance in your particular necessities. 

After this address yourself to Jesus, begging Him to be mindful of that loving mother who for nine months carried Him in her womb, and from the moment of His birth paid Him the most profound adoration. For this was her acknowledgment that this Child was at once God and man, her Creator and her Son. With compassion she saw Him poorly accommodated in a humble stable, nourished Him with her pure milk, kissed and embraced Him a thousand times with maternal fondness, and through His life and at His death, suffered for Him beyond expression. Present this picture to the Savior, that He may be compelled, as it were, by such powerful motives, to hear your prayers. Appeal to the Blessed Virgin herself, reminding her of her commission from all eternity, to be the Mother of Mercy and the refuge of sinners, and that after her divine Son, you place your greatest confidence in her intercession. Present to her the fact, asserted by the learned and confirmed by miracles, that no one ever called upon her with a lively faith, and was left unaided. Finally, remind her of the sufferings of her Son for your salvation, that she may obtain of Him the grace necessary to make proper use of His sufferings for the greater glory of that loving Savior.

God Bless BJS!!

POPES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

“A legitimate pope cannot contradict or deny what was first taught by Christ to His Church. An essential change constitutes the establishment of a new religion.” Tumultuous Times pg 274

Every “Pope” from John the 23rd forward has contradicted Christ and His Church. By their fruits you shall know them. The new religion that was established is called the Novus Ordo religion and was established at the 2nd Vatican Council. Find the truth!

No. Name

Reigned From

Reigned To

1. St. Peter 32 67
2. St. Linus 67 76
3. St. Anacletus (Cletus) 76 88
4. St. Clement I 88 97
5. St. Evaristus 97 105
6. St. Alexander I 105 115
7. St. Sixtus I — also called Xystus I 115 125
8. St. Telesphorus 125 136
9. St. Hyginus 136 140
10. St. Pius I 140 155
11. St. Anicetus 155 166
12. St. Soter 166 175
13. St. Eleutherius 175 189
14. St. Victor I 189 199
15. St. Zephyrinus 199 217
16. St. Callistus I 217 222
17. St. Urban I 222 230
18. St. Pontain 230 235
19. St. Anterus 235 236
20. St. Fabian 236 250
21. St. Cornelius 251 253
22. St. Lucius I 253 254
23. St. Stephen I 254 257
24. St. Sixtus II 257 258
25. St. Dionysius 260 268
26. St. Felix I 269 274
27. St. Eutychian 275 283
28. St. Caius — also called Gaius 283 296
29. St. Marcellinus 296 304
30. St. Marcellus I 308 309
31. St. Eusebius 309 310
32. St. Miltiades 311 314
33. St. Sylvester I 314 335
34. St. Marcus 336 336
35. St. Julius I 337 352
36. Liberius 352 366
37. St. Damasus I 366 383
38. St. Siricius 384 399
39. St. Anastasius I 399 401
40. St. Innocent I 401 417
41. St. Zosimus 417 418
42. St. Boniface I 418 422
43. St. Celestine I 422 432
44. St. Sixtus III 432 440
45. St. Leo I (the Great) 440 461
46. St. Hilarius 461 468
47. St. Simplicius 468 483
48. St. Felix III (II) 483 492
49. St. Gelasius I 492 496
50. Anastasius II 496 498
51. St. Symmachus 498 514
52. St. Hormisdas 514 523
53. St. John I 523 526
54. St. Felix IV (III) 526 530
55. Boniface II 530 532
56. John II 533 535
57. St. Agapetus I — also called Agapitus I 535 536
58. St. Silverius 536 537
59. Vigilius 537 555
60. Pelagius I 556 561
61. John III 561 574
62. Benedict I 575 579
63. Pelagius II 579 590
64. St. Gregory I (the Great) 590 604
65. Sabinian 604 606
66. Boniface III 607 607
67. St. Boniface IV 608 615
68. St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) 615 618
69. Boniface V 619 625
70. Honorius I 625 638
71. Severinus 640 640
72. John IV 640 642
73. Theodore I 642 649
74. St. Martin I 649 655
75. St. Eugene I 655 657
76. St. Vitalian 657 672
77. Adeodatus (II) 672 676
78. Donus 676 678
79. St. Agatho 678 681
80. St. Leo II 682 683
81. St. Benedict II 684 685
82. John V 685 686
83. Conon 686 687
84. St. Sergius I 687 701
85. John VI 701 705
86. John VII 705 707
87. Sisinnius 708 708
88. Constantine 708 715
89. St. Gregory II 715 31
90. St. Gregory III 731 741
91. St. Zachary 741 752
92. Stephen II 752 752
93. Stephen III 752 757
94. St. Paul I 757 767
95. Stephen IV 767 772
96. Adrian I 772 795
97. St. Leo III 795 816
98. Stephen V 816 817
99. St. Paschal I 817 824
100. Eugene II 824 827
101. Valentine 827 827
102. Gregory IV 827 844
103. Sergius II 844 847
104. St. Leo IV 847 855
105. Benedict III 855 858
106. St. Nicholas I (the Great) 858 867
107. Adrian II 867 872
108. John VIII 872 882
109. Marinus I 882 884
110. St. Adrian III 884 885
111. Stephen VI 885 891
112. Formosus 891 896
113. Boniface VI 896 896
114. Stephen VII 896 897
115. Romanus 897 897
116. Theodore II 897 897
117. John IX 898 900
118. Benedict IV 900 903
119. Leo V 903 903
120. Sergius III 904 911
121. Anastasius III 911 913
122. Lando 913 914
123. John X 914 928
124. Leo VI 928 928
125. Stephen VIII 929 931
126. John XI 931 935
127. Leo VII 936 939
128. Stephen IX 939 942
129. Marinus II 942 46
130. Agapetus II 946 955
131. John XII 955 963
132. Leo VIII 963 964
133. Benedict V 964 964
134. John XIII 965 972
135. Benedict VI 973 974
136. Benedict VII 974 983
137. John XIV 983 984
138. John XV 985 996
139. Gregory V 996 999
140. Sylvester II 999 1003
141. John XVII 1003 1003
142. John XVIII 1003 1009
143. Sergius IV 1009 1012
144. Benedict VIII 1012 1024
145. John XIX 1024 1032
146. Benedict IX 1032 1045
147. Sylvester III 1045 1045
148. Benedict IX 1045 1045
149. Gregory VI 1045 1046
150. Clement II 1046 1047
151. Benedict IX 1047 1048
152. Damasus II 1048 1048
153. St. Leo IX 1049 1054
154. Victor II 1055 1057
155. Stephen X 1057 1058
156. Nicholas II 1058 1061
157. Alexander II 1061 1073
158. St. Gregory VII 1073 1085
159. Blessed Victor III 1086 1087
160. Blessed Urban II 1088 1099
161. Paschal II 1099 1118
162. Gelasius II 1118 1119
163. Callistus II 1119 1124
164. Honorius II 1124 1130
165. Innocent II 1130 1143
166. Celestine II 1143 1144
167. Lucius II 1144 1145
168. Blessed Eugene III 1145 1153
169. Anastasius IV 1153 1154
170. Adrian IV 1154 1159
171. Alexander III 1159 1181
172. Lucius III 1181 1185
173. Urban III 1185 1187
174. Gregory VIII 1187 1187
175. Clement III 1187 1191
176. Celestine III 1191 1198
177. Innocent III 1198 1216
178. Honorius III 1216 1227
179. Gregory IX 1227 1241
180. Celestine IV 1241 1241
181. Innocent IV 1243 1254
182. Alexander IV 1254 1261
183. Urban IV 1261 1264
184. Clement IV 1265 1268
185. Blessed Gregory X 1271 1276
186. Blessed Innocent V 1276 1276
187. Adrian V 1276 1276
188. John XXI 1276 1277
189. Nicholas III 1277 1280
190. Martin IV 1281 1285
191. Honorius IV 1285 1287
192. Nicholas IV 1288 1292
193. St. Celestine V 1294 1294
194. Boniface VIII 1294 1303
195. Blessed Benedict XI 1303 1304
196. Clement V 1305 1314
197. John XXII 1316 1334
198. Benedict XII 1334 1342
199. Clement VI 1342 1352
200. Innocent VI 1352 1362
201. Blessed Urban V 1362 1370
202. Gregory XI 1370 1378
203. Urban VI 1378 1389
204. Boniface IX 1389 1404
205. Innocent VII 1406 1406
206. Gregory XII 1406 1415
207. Martin V 1417 1431
208. Eugene IV 1431 1447
209. Nicholas V 1447 1455
210. Callistus III 1445 1458
211. Pius II 1458 1464
212. Paul II 1464 1471
213. Sixtus IV 1471 1484
214. Innocent VIII 1484 1492
215. Alexander VI 1492 1503
216. Pius III 1503 1503
217. Julius II 1503 1513
218. Leo X 1513 1521
219. Adrian VI 1522 1523
220. Clement VII 1523 1534
221. Paul III 1534 1549
222. Julius III 1550 1555
223. Marcellus II 1555 1555
224. Paul IV 1555 1559
225. Pius IV 1559 1565
226. St. Pius V 1566 1572
227. Gregory XIII 1572 1585
228. Sixtus V 1585 1590
229. Urban VII 1590 1590
230. Gregory XIV 1590 1591
231. Innocent IX 1591 1591
232. Clement VIII 1592 1605
233. Leo XI 1605 1605
234. Paul V 1605 1621
235. Gregory XV 1621 1623
236. Urban VIII (-) 1623 1644
237. Innocent X (-) 1644 1655
238. Alexander VII 1655 1667
239. Clement IX 1667 1669
240. Clement X 1670 1676
241. Blessed Innocent XI 1676 1689
242. Alexander VIII 1689 1691
243. Innocent XII 1691 1700
244. Clement XI 1700 1721
245. Innocent XIII 1721 1724
246. Benedict XIII 1724 1730
247. Clement XII 1730 1740
248. Benedict XIV 1740 1758
249. Clement XIII 1758 1769
250. Clement XIV 1769 1774
251. Pius VI 1775 1799
252. Pius VII 1800 1823
253. Leo XII 1823 1829
254. Pius VIII 1829 1830
255. Gregory XVI 1831 1846
256. Ven. Pius IX 1846 1878
257. Leo XIII 1878 1903
258. St. Pius X 1903 1914
259. Benedict XV 1914 1922
260. Pius XI 1922 1939
261. Pius XII 1939 1958


Particular Judgment

 

Complete justice will not be done in this life, but in the next. Then everything will be weighed in the balance of God’s justice, and punished or rewarded. If on earth we have obeyed the commandments of God and of the Church we shall be given an eternal reward in heaven (1). If we have obeyed all the commandments, but die with unforgiven venial sin, or without having satisfied for forgiven mortal sin, we shall be sent to purgatory (2). Alas for us if we die with even one mortal sin! For then we shall be banished from the sight of God and suffer torments in hell forever (3).

    What is the judgment called which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death? –The judgment which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death is called the particular judgment.The existence of the particular judgment can be deduced from the parable of Dives and Lazarus; a soul is shown rewarded immediately after death.

  1. As soon as each soul leaves the body at death it undergoes the Particular judgment, at which its eternal destiny is decided. “We must all be manifested at the judgment seat of Christ.” “It is appointed unto men to die once, but after this comes the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). “Every one of us will render an account for himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).Let us remember that even while the relatives gather around the bed of the departed one, even while his body is still warm, the particular judgment is gone through and finished; the judgment is passed, and the soul gone to his reward or punishment. If we remember this, we shall be more fervent in praying for the dead, in helping others die a happy death, so that without fear they may meet God at the judgment. 
  2. Jesus Christ is the Judge at the Particular Judgment. Before Him each soul must stand. The soul will stand in the awesome presence of God the Son, to give an account of its whole life: of every thought, word, act, and omission.“Neither does the Father judge any man, but all judgment he has given to the Son” (John 5:22). 
  3. A man’s whole life will be spread before him like a great picture. He will remember everything, although he might have forgotten much at the moment of death. How he will wish then that he had done only good! We are not to suppose that the soul will go to heaven before Christ to be judged. God enlightens each soul in such a manner that it fully knows Christ has passed a true judgment on it.“Of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). The judgment will embrace even the good which has been neglected: a strict account will have to be rendered of the use we made of the talents and graces given to us. Even good actions badly performed will come under scrutiny, careless communions, hasty confessions, etc. Only then shall we know the exactness with which God sees and measures every act, word, and even intention in our deepest thought. 
  4. The good and the evil that the soul has done will be weighed in the balance of God’s justice. Then the sentence will be passed by Jesus Christ alone, without the intervention of witnesses. This sentence is final and will never be reversed. The soul will learn the sentence, the reasons for it, and its absolute justice.“But of every one to whom much has been given, much will be required; and of him to whom they have entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48).
    What are the rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment? –The rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment are heaven, purgatory, or hell.“With what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you” (Matt. 7:2). As we have loved God and our fellow-men during life, so we shall be given the proper reward or punishment.

  1. He who dies in his baptismal innocence, or after having fully satisfied for all the sins he committed, will be sent at once to heaven.The just will enter into everlasting life (Matt. 25:46). Only those souls enter heaven who are free from all sin, and from the penalty due to sins which have been forgiven. Nothing defiled can enter heaven (Apoc. 21:27). 
  2. He who dies in the state of grace, but is in venial sin, or has not fully atoned for the temporal punishment due his forgiven sins, will be sent for a time to purgatory.The souls in purgatory are saints, because they are sure of going to heaven. In purgatory they cannot commit any more sin, not even the slightest. They only long for God. 
  3. He who dies in mortal sin, even if only with one single mortal sin, will be sent at once to hell.“For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by” (Wis. 5:15). By mortal sin a man cuts himself off from God. It is really he himself that sends himself to hell. God’s desire would be to see all His creatures with Him in heaven.
    How should we prepare for the judgment? –We should prepare for the judgment by being most careful to lead a good life and die a happy death. 

  1. We should do all the good we can, so that God may forgive the evil we may do. We should not only obey carefully all the Commandments of God and the Church, but do good works in prayer and alms-deeds, practicing charity for the love of God. How can we be careless about a matter of such importance, when we are absolutely certain of being judged by God! “For what shall I do, when God shall rise to judge?” (Job 31:14). 
  2. We should do voluntary works of penance, for love of God, in expiation of any sins we may have the misfortune to commit. The “Imitation of Christ” says on this topic: “In all things look to the end, and how thou wilt stand before the strict Judge, from Whom there is nothing hid; Who takes no bribes, and receives no excuses, but will judge that which is just. … Be, therefore, now solicitous for thy sins, that in the day of judgment thou mayest be in security with the blessed. … Then shall the poor and humble have great confidence, and the proud fear on every side. Then it will appear that he was wise in this world, who for Christ’s sake learned to be a fool and despised. … Then shall the flesh that was afflicted exult more than if it had always fared in delights. … Then a pure and good conscience shall bring more joy than learned philosophy. Then shall the contempt of riches far outweigh all treasures of the children of earth. … Learn to suffer now in little things, that thou mayest be delivered from more grievous sufferings. … All is vanity except to love and serve God alone” (Bk. I, chap. 24). 
  3. We should never go to sleep without being prepared never to awake on earth again, but in the presence of our judge. Let us examine our conscience every day, make acts of contrition for our sins, confess them, and resolve to avoid them in the future.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

​The Forgiveness of Sins

 

Christ taught about the forgiveness of sins in the parable of the Prodigal Son (1). He instituted the Sacrament of Penance for the forgiveness of sins when He said to the Apostles: (4) “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain they are retained.”

    What is meant in the Apostles’ Creed by “the forgiveness of sins”? –By “the forgiveness of sins” in the Apostles’ Creed is meant that God has given to the Church, through Jesus Christ, the power to forgive sins, no matter how great or how many they are, if sinners truly repent. 

  1. In the Old Law, sins were forgiven through the merits of the Redeemer that was to come. In the New Law they are forgiven through the merits of the Redeemer Who has come.Pointing to Christ, St. John the Baptist said: “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” 
  2. We can obtain forgiveness of sin, because Christ the Redeemer merited forgiveness for us by His death. The Church has power to remit sins through the merits of Jesus Christ, “in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins” (Col. 1:14).During life, Christ actually forgave sin. For example, He forgave Mary Magdalen, the paralytic, and the good thief. In curing the paralytic, He said, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins -then he said to the paralytic –“Arise, take up thy pallet and go to thy house” (Matt. 9:6). 
  3. Christ gave to His Apostles and disciples and their successors power to forgive sins. He said: “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).This power to forgive sins was not given to the Apostles alone, since men of later ages would need forgiveness as much as men of Apostolic times. The power, therefore, must also remain in the successors of the Apostles. 
  4. It is true, as the enemies of the Church assert, that man cannot forgive sins. Man, by his own individual power, can never forgive the smallest sin. But he can forgive all sins, with the power and authority God gave him, as minister of God, acting in God’s place. Or is God limited because man is sinful? “These things I write to you in order that you may not sin. But if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just” (1 John 2:1).From the very beginning the Church has exercised this power, through the sacraments of Penance and Baptism, and even through Extreme Unction.
    How may sins be remitted or forgiven? –Sins may be remitted or forgiven by various means, according to the kind and gravity of the sin: by Baptism, by Penance, and by good works. 

  1. Original sin is remitted through Baptism. When we are baptized, we become children of God, and heirs of heaven.None but children of God, the baptized, can have a pass to God’s eternal home. 
  2. Actual sin is remitted by Baptism, by Penance, by Extreme Unction, and by good works. Such good works are: prayer, fasting, and alms-deeds.Good works cannot remit grave or mortal sin; they can only dispose a person to the state of mind which leads him to the Sacrament of Penance. 
  3. The guilt of forgiven sins never returns. Once forgiven, a sin is forgiven forever. If after our sins have been forgiven we commit a new sin, or sins like the ones already forgiven, we are guilty of new sins.A man tells five lies. He repents and confessing his sin, obtains forgiveness. After a month he tells five lies again. He is guilty of having told only five lies, not ten.
    What is vice? –Vice is a habit of sin formed by repeated acts of sin. 

  1. One who makes a practice of stealing has the vice of theft. One who habitually drinks to intoxication has the vice of drunkenness. One who frequently sins against chastity has the vice of impurity.If one commits robbery and ever after avoids that sin, he has committed the mortal sin of robbery, but he has no vice. Similarly one may be completely intoxicated once, but if he resolves never again to drink, and sticks to his resolution, he has no vice. 
  2. A vice is easily acquired. This is one reason why we must be very careful not to commit sin. If we should be so unhappy as to fall into sin, we must at once cut off the possibility of forming vice by contrition, penance, and a resolution not to sin again.After the first fall, one more readily yields to the next temptation. Each yielding weakens the will for the next. Thus step by step one who starts a sin will soon find himself the slave of a vicious habit. “He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little” (Ecclus 19:1). 
  3. A vice is easy to break off in the beginning, difficult to break when fully formed, but always capable of being overcome by a resolute will with God’s grace.It is easy enough to uproot a very young tree. But when it has grown into a mighty tree, it becomes extremely difficult. The vice having been firmly formed, it becomes a necessity and is impossible to break without extraordinary grace. This impossibility often leads many vicious persons to despair and to final impenitence. But God can do all things. One therefore who has contracted a habit of sin must have recourse to God, who will strengthen him, so that he can conquer his vice, by patient acts of virtue and a constant exertion of the will.
    Can all sins be forgiven? –Yes, all sins, however great, can be forgiven, through the infinite merits of Christ, Who is God.The repentant sinner is told in Scripture: “If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow” (Is. 1:17) 

  1. God is always ready to forgive our sins, no matter how great or how many they are, if we are truly sorry for them. No actual sin can be forgiven without sorrow and repentance on the part of the sinner.Our Lord said: “I say to you that, even so, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15:7). 
  2. The sin against the Holy Ghost which Christ warned us would not be forgiven in heaven or on earth is persistent impenitence, the sin of one who rejects conversion and dies in mortal sin. One guilty of this sin can never obtain forgiveness of God, because at the hour of death he continues to thrust God away from him.A man mortally wounded cannot have any hope of cure if he not only refuses to listen to his doctors, but shuts his mouth against all medicines, and kicks away all medical instruments and help. Even Judas would have been pardoned if he had asked for forgiveness and made a sincere act of contrition before his death.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

Suffering 

How to Make the Greatest Evil in Our Lives Our Greatest Happiness

by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.

Suffering is the great problem of human life. We all have to suffer. Sometimes small sorrows, sometimes greater ones fall to our share. We shall now tell our readers how to avoid much of this suffering, how to lessen all suffering and how to derive great benefits from every suffering we may have to bear. The reason why suffering appears so hard is that, first of all, we are not taught what suffering is. Secondly, we are not taught how to bear it. Thirdly, we are not taught the priceless value of suffering. This is due to the incomprehensible neglect on the part of our teachers. It is surprising how easily some people bear great sufferings; whereas, others get excited even at the smallest trouble. The simple reason is that some have been taught all about suffering; others have not.

SUFFERING IS NOT THE EVIL WE THINK IT IS

First of all, then, suffering is not simply an evil, for no one suffered more than the Son of God Himself, more than His Blessed Mother or more than the Saints. Every suffering comes from God. It may appear to come to us by chance or accident or from someone else, but in reality, every suffering comes to us from God. Nothing happens to us without His wish or permission. Not even a hair falls from our heads without His consent.

Why does God allow us to suffer? Simply because He is asking us to take a little share in His Passion. What appears to come by chance or from someone else always comes because God allows it. Every act in Our Lord’s Life was a lesson for us. The greatest act in His life was His Passion. This, then, is the greatest lesson for us. It teaches us that we too must suffer. God suffered all the dreadful pains of His Passion for each one of us. How can we refuse to suffer a little for love of Him?

SUFFERING IS THE GOLD IN OUR LIVES

Secondly, if we accept the suffering He sends us and offer them in union with His sufferings, we receive the greatest rewards. Five minutes’ suffering borne for love of Jesus is of greater value to us than years and years of pleasure and joy. The Saints tell us that if we patiently bear our sufferings, we merit the crown of martyrdom. Moreover, suffering borne patiently brings out all that is good in us. Those who have suffered are usually the most charming people. If we bear these facts clearly in mind, it certainly becomes much easier to suffer.

GOD ALWAYS GIVES STRENGTH TO BEAR OUR SUFFERINGS

Thirdly, when God gives us any suffering, He always gives us strength to bear it, if we only ask Him. Many, instead of asking for His help, get excited and revolt. It is this excitement and impatience that really make suffering hard to bear. Consider that we are now speaking of all suffering, even the most trifling ones. All of us have little troubles, pains, disappointments, every day of our lives. All these, if borne for love of God, obtain for us, as we have said, the greatest rewards.

HOW TO BEAR SUFFERING

Even the greater sufferings that may fall to our share from time to time become easy to bear if we accept them with serenity and patience. What really makes suffering difficult to bear is our own impatience, our revolt, our refusal to accept it. This irritation increases our sufferings a hundred fold and, besides, robs us of all the merit we could have gained thereby. We see some people pass through a tempest of suffering with the greatest calm and serenity; whereas, others get irritated at the slightest annoyance or disappointment. We can all learn this calm and patience. It is the secret of happiness. An eminent physician, in a conference which he gave to distinguished scientists and fellow doctors, told them that he owed all his great success in life to the simple fact that he had corrected his habit of impatience and annoyance, which had been destroying all his energy and activity. Everyone, we repeat, without exception, can learn this calm and serenity.

PENANCE

We must all do penance for our sins. If we do not, we shall have long years of suffering in the awful fires of Purgatory. This fire is just the same as the fire of Hell. Now, if we offer our sufferings the very little ones as well as the greater ones-in union with the sufferings of Jesus Christ, we are doing the easiest and best penance we can perform. We may thus deliver ourselves entirely from Purgatory, while at the same time gaining the greatest graces and blessings.

Let us remember clearly that:

1) Sufferings come from God for our benefit.

2) When we are in the state of grace, we derive immense merit from every suffering borne patiently, even the little sufferings of our daily lives.

3) God will give us abundant strength to bear our sufferings if we only ask Him.

4) If we bear our sufferings patiently, they lose their sting and bitterness.

5) Above all, every suffering is a share in the Passion of Our Lord.

6) By our sufferings, we can free ourselves in great part, or entirely, from the pains of Purgatory.

7) By bearing our sufferings patiently, we win the glorious crown of martyrdom.

Of course, we may do all in our power to avoid or lessen our sufferings, but we cannot avoid all suffering. Therefore, it is clearly necessary for us to learn how to bear them. In a word, we must understand clearly that if we remain calm, serene and patient, suffering loses all its sting, but the moment we get excited, the smallest suffering increases a hundred fold. It is just as if we had a sore arm or leg and rubbed it violently; it would become irritated and painful; whereas, if we touch it gently, we soothe the irritation. We suffer from ill-health, from pains, headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, from accidents, from enemies. We may have financial difficulties. Some suffer for weeks in their homes, some in hospitals or nursing homes. In a word, we are in a vale of tears. Almighty God could have saved us from all suffering, but He did not do so because He knows in His infinite goodness that suffering is good for us.

PRAYER

We have a great, great remedy in our hands, that is, prayer. We should pray earnestly and constantly asking God to help us to suffer, to console us. or if it pleases Him. to deliver us from suffering. This is all, all important. A very eminent doctor, in an able article he recently published in the secular press, says that “Prayer is the greatest power in the world.” He says, “I and my colleagues frequently see that many of our patients, whom we have failed to cure or whose pains we have failed to alleviate, have cured themselves by prayer. I speak now not of the prayers of holy people, but the prayers of ordinary Christians.” We should above all pray to Our Lady of Sorrows in all our troubles. We should ask her, by the oceans of sorrow she felt during the Passion of Our Lord, to help us. God gave her all the immense graces necessary to make her the perfect Mother of God, but He also gave her all the graces, the tenderness, the love necessary to be our most perfect and loving Mother. No mother on earth ever loved a child as Our Blessed Lady loves us. Therefore, in all our troubles and sorrows, let us go to Our Blessed Lady with unbounded confidence.

THE MEMORARE

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Amen.

In a Nutshell

Here is what I gathered from your email:

1. Do you think Catholicism or Christianity is in competition?

2.  Other lessons/belief systems that offer it’s own wisdom, comfort, and moral guidance?

3.  What is wrong with the idea that every religious tradition offers different, but equally valid lessons about the world?

4.  Could there be more to life than just Catholicism?

5.  Is there something wrong with the person who decides what they truly believe?

My initial thoughts:

1.  Christianity – religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or it’s beliefs and practices (it does not say some beliefs and practices).

2.  The Catholic Church is the main and earliest form of Christianity (there has to be a reason for that like everything else in the universe).

3.  How can something be in competition with itself?

4.  Truths from other “Christian” religions are either natural truths or taken from the Catholic Church and that is an historical fact, repeated over and over.

The first question that comes to my mind is whether or not you believe or recognize Jesus Christ as God (not just another Santa Claus like pretty much everyone treats Him), the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity, or if you think of Him as another human being with no real significance. 

Let us consider some points that can help us recognize the Divinity of Christ using reason and history. Reason because everyone has it, even those without Faith. And history because everyone lives in it, and it’s applicable, whether you like it or not.

1.  Socrates had no one foretell his birth.  Buddha had no one to pre announce him and his message or tell the day when he would sit under a tree. Confucius did not have the name of his mother and his birthplace recorded.

2.  Search the writings of the Jewish people and the related history of the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. There have been no more prophecies of anyone coming after Christ.

3.  What separates Christ from all men is that first He was expected; even the Gentiles had a longing for a Deliverer, or Redeemer. This fact alone distinguishes Him from all other religious leaders.

4.  A second distinguishing fact is that once He appeared, He struck history with such impact that He split it in two, dividing it into two parts: one before His coming, the other after it. Buddha did not do this, nor any of the great Indian philosophers. Even those who deny  God must date their attacks upon Him A.D. so and so, or so many years after His coming.

5. A third fact is this: every other person who ever came into this world came into it to live. He came to die. Death was a stumbling block to Socrates – it interrupted his teaching. But to Christ, death was the goal and fulfillment of His life, the gold that He was seeking. Few of His words or actions are intelligible without reference to His Cross. He presented Himself as a Savior rather than merely a Teacher. It meant nothing to teach men to be good unless He also gave them the power to be good, after rescuing them from the frustration of guilt.

6. The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death. In the Person of Christ, however, it was His death that was first and His life that was last. “the Lamb slain as it were, from the beginning of the world.”

7.  A fourth distinguishing fact is that He does not fit, as the other world teachers do, into the established category of a good man. Good men do not lie. But if Christ was not all that He said He was, namely, the Son of the Living God, the Word of God in the flesh, then He was not “just a good man”; then He was a knave, a liar, a charlatan, and the greatest deceiver who ever lived. If He was not what He said He was, the Christ, the Son of God, He was the anti-Christ! If He was only a man, then He was not even a “good” man, but He was not only a man. He would have us either worship Him or despise Him – despise Him as a mere man, or worship Him as true God and true man.

He will not allow us to pick and choose among His words, discarding the hard ones, and accepting the ones that please our fancy. We need a Christ Who will restore moral indignation, who will make us hate evil with a passionate intensity and love goodness to a point where we would drink death like water.

– The Life of Christ, Bishop Fulton Sheen 1958.

“It is thy own lips that have called Me a King. What I was born for, what I came into the world for, Is to bear witness of the Truth. Whoever belongs to the Truth, listens to My Voice.” (JOHN 18:37)

So as Christ is God and easily the most important and only pre-announced person in history, and as the Old Testament is mirrored through His Church in the New Testament. True Catholicism ties the ancient Jewish traditions of sacrifice  (bread and wine for Thanksgiving, and the Pascal lamb for atonement of sins); Christ brought these sacrifices together as the Priest, the Victim, and the Redeemer all at once. With the Last Supper being the first Catholic Mass Christ said:

“And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat : THIS IS MY BODY, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: THIS CHALICE IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD: THIS DO YE, AS OFTEN AS YOU SHALL DRINK, FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF ME.

For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily  (hence the Sacrament of Confession), shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself, not discerning (believing, reverence towards the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine, the whole of the Catholic Faith, and everything Protestants and everyone else aims to destroy), the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep.”

What it comes down to is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the same exact sacrifice offered to God the Father by His only begotten Son but in an unbloody manner. And the whole of the Faith depends on whether or not the person really and truly believe that after the bread and wine are transubstantiated they are completely and wholly, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Because it was given from Christ to His Apostles and passed down through the imposition of hands to the Bishops and priests of the true church today.

Nothing else that any human being has ever done comes even close to this importance. That is God on the Altar right in front of your eyes! He did it for the Jews in the Old Testament when they wandered the desert for 40 years. He was a white mana that came down for them every morning to satisfy all their physical needs. And now His precious Body and Blood are our spiritual food if we want an eternity of happiness with God and it’s the only way we get to Heaven. Everything else is made up because ex-Catholics could not live up to the moral standards Christ instituted to His Apostles.

Just as a father has love for his children and does things that may at first seem harsh but ultimately is out of love of his children, so Christ gave us His Church, and promised to be with us until the end of time if we only adhere to the truth and everything He has commanded of us. Not just the things WE want to do or believe in, because history is full of that. It is daily obedience to the Will of God. Baptism for the washing of the soul from the stains of original sin, frequent reception of the Sacraments, keeping the commandments, observing sundays and holy days of obligation, as long as we are alive on this Earth we can turn to God and repent and start living the way we are supposed to be living. Denouncing the world, and all its enticing material things, dying to our physical senses, and seeking only the solicitation of the things that are of God’s Will for us. Obedience is paramount in making it into the Ark of the New Testament. We cannot get to Heaven by ourselves, you need the Holy Ghost dwelling in your soul and you receive that through His Church not anyone else’s. Just as Faith without works is dead, works without Faith are useless. Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist IS the Catholic Faith, and it IS Christianity.

“If any man eat of this bread, He shall live forever; and the bread that I will give, IS MY FLESH, for the life of the world.”

John 6:52

What could be more important, efficacious for the salvation of our souls, than adherence to what the Creator of the Universe has commanded us to do? And who else has such a love for us, as to make themselves one with Him by offering us the bread of His flesh for our salvation? How important is it to you? If one believes they are a good person, is that simply enough? Because if one were truly a good person would they not follow and listen to the Source of all Good, God made man, Christ Himself?

​Humility, Liberality, Chastity

 

At a very early age St. Agnes had such a high regard for the virtue of chastity that she vowed her virginity to God. The Roman authorities, who were persecuting the infant Church, tried to make this child offer incense to the idols, but she refused. Seeing her firmness, the persecutors tried to win her by flattery. She was only thirteen years old, beautiful and wealthy; they offered to marry her to the son of a high official in Rome. But she answered that she was consecrated to her Heavenly Bridegroom. She suffered torture and meekly laid her head on the execution block.

 

    What is humility? –Humility is that moral virtue which disposes us to appreciate and acknowledge our true position with respect to God and our fellowmen.Jesus Christ often praised and recommended humility. “Unless you turn, and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3). He always answered the prayers of the humble, as of the centurion (Matt. 8:11). “If any man wishes to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mark 9:34) 

  1. The humble man acknowledges God as the source of all the excellent things he may possess. He recognizes his limitations, his own nothingness, and the uselessness of all earthly things without God.Compared to God, what are we? All things pass away; only God is eternal. These simple truths will help us keep humble; without God we are nothing. Let us practice the behest of Our Lord. “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matt. 11:29). 
  2. The humble man knows that earthly things are of value only if they lead us to God. His detachment from all things worldly frees him from all human fear.In order to become humble, let us think often of the majesty and grandeur of God. Let us contemplate His works, beside which ours would be nothing. Above all, let us remember that without God we would not even exist. Do we feel proud of our wealth? Tomorrow a fire, a business depression, may wipe it off completely. Are we proud of our appearance? An accident, some sickness, would make it as if it had never been. Are we proud of our intelligence? Amnesia would take it all away. 
  3. The humble man has his best, model in the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ, Who humbled Himself out of love for men.“Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matt. 11:29). The Son of God humbled Himself when He came down to earth as man. He came as a poor man, in the eyes of the world the son of a carpenter. His companions were simple fishermen. He associated with the humble, with sinners even. At the Last Supper He washed the feet of His apostles. He was put to death on the cross, the manner of death then most despised. 
  4. Our Lord continually urged us to humility; as when He said, “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matt. 23:11).In the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican Christ exalted humility; as also He did when, taking a little child, He said, “Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4). And again He said, after preaching to His disciples, “When you have done everything that was commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants'” (Luke 17: 10) 
  5. Humility is opposed both to pride and to excessive and affected self-abjection.To be humble, a man does not need to belittle his abilities. St. Thomas Aquinas says: That a person should recognize and appreciate his own good qualities is not sin.”
    What is liberality? –Liberality is that moral virtue, related to the cardinal virtue of justice, which finds expression in generosity towards our fellowmen, disposing us to use material goods rightly. 

  1. Ordinarily the term is taken with reference to material goods; but in a broader sense it also is with respect to spiritual and intellectual gifts.Liberality consists in giving, for the love of God, generous help to those in need. Our Lord said, in urging us to do works of mercy, that what is given to the poor is given to Him. Liberality does not depend on the amount given, but in the spirit. A poor man can be very liberal; whereas a rich man who gives millions, but does so only in order to get praised does not have the virtue of generosity. 
  2. Liberality is opposed to covetousness.With liberality we become willing for the love of God to help out those in material need. This virtue does not depend on the amount or material value of the gift, but in the goodness of the heart with which it is given. 
    What is chastity? –Chastity is that moral virtue which disposes us to be pure in soul and body.Those who keep themselves pure in soul and body are like angels on earth. It was the chaste Apostle John to whom Christ gave the privilege of leaning on His breast at the Last Supper; it was to him that He entrusted His Virgin Mother. 

  1. Chastity, opposed to lust, disposes us to preserve the mind and body from everything that is impure. Chastity is purity. It is termed the angelic virtue, because it makes men resemble the angels in heaven.Chastity gives health to the soul and light to the understanding; it aids wisdom and develops strength of character. Judith, a weak woman, had the courage to go into the enemy camp, and returned with the head of Holofernes; of her Holy Scripture says, “Thou hast done manfully and thy heart hath been strengthened, because thou hast loved chastity” (Judith 15:11). Thousands of martyrs died in defense of this virtue of holy chastity. 
  2. For the unmarried, chastity forbids indulgence of the sexual appetite; for the married, it regulates the use of that appetite in accordance with the dictates of right reason. It is wrong to suppose that chastity is not a virtue for the married. God requires chastity from everyone, in all states of life. A chaste marriage is the basis of the Christian family.Not all saints are virgins. God requires chastity to be practiced by all, in accordance with the state of life that each has embraced. It may be either absolute (for the unmarried), or relative (for the married). 
  3. The mere knowledge of facts does not destroy our chastity. It is wilful consent and yielding to impurity that sullies chastity of mind and body.Jesus Christ, Our Lady, St. Joseph, and other saints surely knew the facts of sex; but such knowledge did not spoil their spotless chastity. 
  4. Let us be careful of the company we keep, and avoid all occasions of sin to preserve virtue of chastity. Let us form the habit of temperance in all things, so as to strengthen our self-control. We should often have recourse to prayer and the sacraments, receiving these frequently. “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Gal. 5: 16). Let us have a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and ask her daily to preserve us in chastity. The following prayer has in many cases been found efficacious in imploring the Blessed Virgin to preserve one’s chastity:“My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to thee; and to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve. Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me as thy property and possession.”

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!